It’s my second time to participate in the Bead Soup Blog Hop. You can read here about the first time. For the 8th Annual Bead Soup Blog Hop, I decided to commemorate it by woodturning Mandi (my partner) and myself “bead soup bowls.”
Sorry but I did forget to take pictures both of what I sent and what I received. And I made something quite different from last year.
When my bead soup arrived (there were some mail issues) I had been thinking about the Native American style branch flute I had been working on and thought it really needed something more. When I opened the box that Mandi had sent, I saw and knew instantly that what the flute still needed was fire. You see, the flute started as a dogwood tree branch (earth) and became a flute that would use breath (wind) to sing its song. And now … fire!
Mandi sent two interesting Maku raku cabochons. As soon as I saw the smaller one, I knew it belonged with the branch flute — on the fetish of the flute. Thank you, Mandi!
The larger raku cabochon still needs a deserving setting and I have been contemplating exactly where that will be.
Mandi sent seed beads that would work well with the raku cabochons to become a brooch or a necklace, but I am still thinking about a more unique setting for the larger raku piece.
With some of the gold and dark blue seed beads she sent, I also wove a flute wrap for a larger Eastern cedar flute I recently made. Initially I had thought that I might weave the larger raku cabochon into the wrap, but it was too large.
A flute should be light to hold and play. That is why weaving fiber and beads rather than creating a wrap made entirely of seed beads is preferable. Bead wraps can get heavy by time they are attached to the leather.
My first exposure to raku was at Campbell Folk School when I attended a woodturning class in Summer 2012. We were encouraged to check out what other classes were doing.
When we visited the pottery class, a subset of the class were making raku items. As we stood and watched the students retrieve their items from the ashes and place them in cooling water, we could not imagine the result. Charred and burnt? But no, some of the glazes and mixes made for unique and interesting pieces. Here are few photos of the raku retrieval process.